Guest: ALBTALBS Friend Barbara Monajem

Hi friends! Let’s pretend it is Thursday, shall we please? I admit – I gaffed. Total cock up, and Barbara Monajem was all things kind and understanding. She’s the best. She also has a really great post complete with thoughtful questions, so there’s nothing for me to add to. But I do want to point out that she is generously hosting a giveaway so do remember to comment! (Also please to make me feel less guilty? :X)

Heart of ConstantineUsually, I’m infatuated with the heroes of my stories. If I were young, nubile, and ripe for an exciting love life, I could easily fall for any one of them.

Not so with Constantine Dufray, the hero of my new release, Heart of Constantine. At first glance, he seemed great—a gorgeous, sexy, Native American…yum, so far… rock star.

That’s strike one against him. I would not want to fall for a famous person. (Fame and glitz just don’t do it for me. At all. And they wouldn’t for any heroine of mine, either.)

And that was only the beginning. Constantine is a vigilante. He’s dangerously telepathic; his thoughts can do a lot of harm, and he’s afraid that he has lost control of his mind. He is completely mired in secrets, some of which are buried so deep he doesn’t even remember them.

Not a good prospect for a permanent relationship. In fact, I think Constantine would have gone completely insane if I hadn’t given him a spirit guide with attitude and back-dated it to his childhood. The spirit guide shows up in the form of various birds, and that scary owl on the cover is one of the guide’s incarnations.

Anyway, Constantine needed a heroine to come to his rescue. (The spirit guide said so. Repeatedly.) She had to have some unusual ability, or she would be no match for Constantine. He needed a woman who could dispense with most of his layers in short order. That’s why I gave her the ability to read auras.

Let me backtrack a little. I have synesthesia, a neurological condition where one kind of stimulus automatically activates another. It’s fairly common (1 in 23 people, according to Wikipedia) and manifests itself in different ways. In my case, letters, numbers, days of the week and months of the year are all associated in my mind with certain colors. So are people to some extent. (A startling question springs to mind. Is Lime actually lime??)

Sunrise in a Garden of Love & EvilI think the association of colors with people is what made me choose a heroine who reads auras. I didn’t want something as simple as red=anger, green=envy, blue=melancholy. True aura-reading must be more complex and interesting than that. Marguerite, the heroine, sees auras in terms of both colors and patterns which fluctuate according to people’s moods and emotions. She has become very good at reading people. She sees through Constantine’s façades—right down to what he really feels at any given moment, which can get disconcerting:

Setup: Constantine is helping Marguerite tidy up after her house has been ransacked. Someone is trying to frame him for rape and murder, and he wants to make sure she isn’t the next victim. She is far more concerned about the unsettling effect he has on her. Just because she (like me) isn’t wowed by fame and glitz, doesn’t make her immune (sadly, I’ve never had the chance to test this out personally) to a tall, dark, mysterious rock star.

(Well. I did meet Leonard Cohen briefly while collecting a fine from him when I worked in a Montreal library eons ago. As well as being tall and dark, he was very polite. Out of reciprocal politeness (my version, which I will defend if you like), I pretended not to know who he was and treated him like any other delinquent library patron, but I’ll never forget it. So maybe I’m not completely immune after all, sad to say.)

To return to our hero and heroine:

“I refuse to be responsible for any murders I don’t commit myself,” Constantine said. “Therefore, I need to protect you.” He stilled the broom. “Go take your shower while I clean up.”

No big deal; he wouldn’t imagine her naked and wet only a few feet away. He’d think about that sexy new riff he’d written the other night after watching Marguerite and her dog from the bayou. He’d been thinking about toppling her into the water and taking her then and there.

Marguerite stared as if he’d gone out of his mind. “You want me to take a shower.” Pause. “While you’re in the kitchen.” She threw up her hands. “Thinking about me wet and naked!”

“I’m not—that is, I won’t be—” Christ. He was babbling. What had happened to being Zen about sex? She was just another woman, and being horny shouldn’t reduce him from total control to incoherence. “I didn’t telepath anything. What are you, a mind reader?”

“No, of course not.” She averted her eyes. “I just know.”

He pounced on that. “How do you know?”

“I just do.”

Well. It might be fun to find out what went on in that honey-blond head, behind those hazel eyes. “It doesn’t matter what I’m thinking. I’m attracted to a lot of women, but I don’t act on the attraction. You’re a fan, and you have a skewed idea of me.”

“No,” Marguerite said, “you are skewed.”

He couldn’t help but grin. “True, but you can take your shower. I swear upon my honor and all that’s holy, I will not come on to you.”

“Fine,” she said. “But has it never occurred to you that I might come on to you?”

Tastes of Love & Evil***

Um…not that she wants to, of course. She’d much rather get back to her ordinary life, the one without mayhem and murder and Constantine. Or would she?

Do any of you read auras? Have premonitions? Send or receive telepathic messages? Inquiring minds are eager to know, and one lucky commenter will receive a copy of Heart of Constantine, e-book or paper, winner’s choice (or one of my other Bayou Gavotte novels if you prefer.)

20 thoughts on “Guest: ALBTALBS Friend Barbara Monajem

  1. sharonchalk

    wow,just the blurb alone decided what Im reading tonight and Im in the middle of another book,but can’t wait,then if I win I will get another one in the series and if I don’t well then if this is as good as it looks then I shall just have to buy the others lol. As for your question regarding talents,I constantly since I was about 15 years old–Im 50 now–have had many incidences of deja-vu,my family is used to it and think nothing of it and though Im used to it,sometimes it still freaks me out because Ill think,didn’t I just do that? I don’t know if its a type of precognition exactly because it always comes after Ive done or said something,I will think wow I just did that,though I didn’t just do it,it just seemed like I did like I knew it,I wish I knew how to harness it because I never know when its going to happen,but wow if I could harness it,I would play the lotto a lot !!!! LOL ps I too met someone famous once in a store coming out of the bathroom,he was the lead singer in the band Def Leppard and I really liked him,but I could not get a single word out of my mouth when he smiled at me,I don’t know if he thought I did or did not know who he was,but he smiled and nodded and I just stood there and stared and he walked away.I felt like a fool afterward and thought he probably thought I was an idiot,but you just don’t expect to see a rock star coming out of a bathroom in a store!! I found out later his band was there doing a signing and interview and he apparently thought that there was less chance of being seen in the store bathroom than the hallway bathroom right off the stage they set up,to this day I wish I would have at least smiled and said hi and not stood there like a mute moron.LOL

  2. Barbara Monajem

    Hi, Sharon. I can see that it must be frustrating to find out about precognition afterwards! I think one go at the lotto would set you up for life, if only you could harness it, LOL.

  3. ki pha

    Welcome Barbara. Thanks for the offer but I’m just commenting. I wish I can read auras but receiving telepathic and premonitions are just freaky! I do not want to hear people crying for help or thinking about….stuff…. And knowing stuff before they happen is always cool but then that alters something and things will go even worse with the same outcome.

    1. Barbara Monajem

      Hi, ki pha. I wouldn’t want to hear people’s thoughts (enough trouble with what’s going on in my own mind) or know the future (brrr…gives me the shivers). But an ability like reading auras might help in assessing what sort of person someone else is–whether they’re trustworthy, for example. Or a serial killer. Or whatever.

  4. Chelsea B.

    First up, I am obsessed with that cover! I adore owls 🙂
    Second, this novel sounds wicked awesome!
    Third, I think it amazingly cool that you have synesthesia. And strange, considering I was just reading a book, The Name of this Book is Secret, which involved the condition. I’m really intrigued by it. It must be difficult to deal with sometimes, but to me, it seems like magic.
    Fourth, no, I don’t; but sometimes, I wish I could!
    It’s been great chatting with you!

    1. Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Chelsea! I’ll have to take a look at the book you mentioned. Thanks!

      I love owls, too! When the publisher offered me a choice of cover concepts, I chose the owl right away. 🙂

  5. Limecello Post author

    Hi Barbara! 🙂 Thanks for visiting with us! As for your questions… no I don’t read auras. Not sure how I’d react if I did. I can often tell if someone is lying though… and I generally know if (friends) are going to get together. [Funny because my sister could always predict when they’d split up…]

    On premonitions, no. Thankfully. I think of that as dreams etc – “foreseeing” and … for a period I kept dying in my dreams. And that is uncomfortable to say the least. Since ~high school I’d intermittently dreamed there was someone out to kill me… but actually dying didn’t happen until post LS. Not good.

    For sending and receiving messages… XD absolutely not. Or, at least I’m horrible at sending them. Receiving I think I’m pretty good at picking up on cues, but I think I’m over sensitive so I’m trying to ignore some. Sending though, no. I’ve literally mouthed “SAVE ME!” to friends before to try to get them to manufacture some excuse and get me away from a socially awkward situation, and they were all “whuh?” >.<

    1. Barbara Monajem

      LOL re you and your sister making opposite predictions! In my dream the other night someone was going to kill me, and the next night someone was chasing me, but I think both times the room was overheated. 😉 So, did you just say you actually died but you’re still alive??

      1. Limecello Post author

        Well yes, I’m still alive. Thankfully, I say, although some might disagree. 😐
        But that’s why it’s so not good – I’ve totally heard the “if you die in your dream you die in real life too” and I’ve died in a dream and immediately woken up and was like “ACK!”

        I’ve also woken up screaming from nightmares I don’t remember… both times in Cincy. XD Must be something evil about that city. >.>

        1. Barbara Monajem

          Jeez, Lime, I guess you should avoid Cincy! And don’t eat pizza before bed. (That was my grandfather’s advice, because it always gave him bad dreams.) And maybe those death dreams mean a change — getting rid of an old habit or something.

  6. denise

    I had my aura read one time–it had been a bad day–it wasn’t a good aura. She tried to help me get my chakra in balance

  7. JenM

    Hi Barbara – best wishes on the book, it sounds really interesting. I don’t think I’d want to be telepathic. It’s one of those things that seems like it would be cool, but now that I’ve read the Sookie Stackhouse series, telepathy is definitely off the list of powers I would want – it seems like it would be very uncomfortable. On the other hand, I think it would be great to be able to read auras – you’d never have to guess at what someone’s emotional state was, but it wouldn’t be as intrusive as telepathy.


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